China coal mine explosion kills 6, injures 34 others
Pingdingshan City, Henan, China (AHN) – A coal mine explosion in China’s Henan province killed at least six people in Central China Thursday. The explosion also buried three people in rubble and injured 34 others.
Rescue workers used excavating tools to dig through debris and rubble at the pithead of a coal mine in Fenghuangling Coal Mine in Pingdingshan City.
The explosion at approximately 5:30 a.m. left a crater 30 feet deep and more than 90 feet wide about 30 feet from the top of a shaft.
Officials said the three who perished were security guards. The injured list also includes security personnel, maintenance workers and nearby residents.
Witnesses said they heard a series of loud bangs and saw some of the surface buildings collapse after the blast. Windows of buildings a short distance away also suffered shattered windows and other damage.
The cause of the blast had not yet been uncovered, officials said.
A state agency news report said the mine has a licensed annual output of 150,000 tons but was ordered to suspend mining pending a takeover by the state-run Zhong Ping Energy Chemical Group. A spokesman for the rescue operation said at the time of the explosion the mine was not operation.
China’s mining industry is one of the most dangerous in the world. Every year thousands of fatalities are reported. On June 21, a mine blast in Pingdingshan killed 46 people.